Staff within Argos’ distribution centres have walked out on the job for a three-week strike, prompting a warning that customer deliveries will be severely hit.
The strike is taking place due to a dispute over redundancy arrangements, with workers accusing the retail giant of failing to guarantee their future terms and conditions will be protected.
The strike also went ahead as a response to Argos — now owned by Sainsbury’s — transferring 500 workers from the Lutterworth distribution centre in Leicestershire to Wincanton Logistics, 25 miles away in Kettering, Northamptonshire.
READ MORE: Argos workers poised for 3 week strike
“What we are faced with is the thin end of the wedge with Sainsbury’s pulling the strings behind the scenes – and that the not-so-hidden agenda is serious cost-cutting to the detriment of our members,” said Matt Draper, the national officer for retail distribution from Unite, the union representing Argos distribution staff.
He added: “We want a comprehensive national agreement with the employer covering redundancy and severance packages.”
Unite warned that because Argos works on a delivery policy that minimizes amount of stock on its shelves, the smallest disruption could have an adverse impact on the supply chain.
However, an Argos spokesperson said: “Customers will not be impacted and should be reassured that full contingency plans are in place.”
The strike covers five distribution sites: Basildon in Essex, Bridgwater in Somerset, Castleford in West Yorkshire, Heywood in Greater Manchester and Burton-on-Trent.